Admission Requirements

We welcome applicants with traditional and non-traditional preparation in the field, as long as their foreign-language, linguistic, and literary-studies skills are strong.

Applicants should show knowledge of Russian (or the language of the student's major field) equivalent to Harvard's Russian 103 (third year).

Formal training in literature or linguistics is highly desirable for admission. In order to anticipate the language requirement, the candidate for admission should also have a reading knowledge of French or German, although this is not a prerequisite.

All applicants to the Department are required to submit general GRE scores, as well as an extensive writing sample in English. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take theTOEFL exam, and achieve a minimal score of 80 on the Internet based test (IBT), or to receive a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English. Applications without GRE scores and TOEFL results (where applicable) will be considered incomplete.

The Department ordinarily interviews finalists for admission by Skype in late January and early February. Admitted students are encouraged to come to campus whenever they are able for a one-day visit in February or March to meet with the faculty and graduate students and to find out more about programs of study available within the department.

We strongly urge applicants who may be out of the country in the spring to so inform the Department and try to visit Cambridge before their departure.

We also welcome potential candidates who wish to come to Cambridge for informational interviews during the spring or fall before submitting an application. Lenia Constantinou, our Department Administrator, is happy to arrange meetings with individual faculty members as requested. In such cases, candidates should also arrange to meet with the current Director of Graduate Studies for Slavic and possibly the Department Chair.

More information about graduate programs at Harvard can be found at The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences website. For instructions on how to apply see the " Admissions" section and the Admission Application.